Spey has moved away from the statutory maternity leave model. Read more to find out exactly how.


As a working mum of three children under six, I follow the #pregnanthenscrewed movement with interest. News headlines have hit that one in four parents say the cost of childcare is more than 75% of their take home pay and this is something that can’t be ignored. I thought the Saatchi and Saatchi campaign, which exists to highlight this, was a stroke of creative genius. We are hardwired to not be able to ignore a baby’s cry and this is a fundamental matter that also can’t be ignored.

Three quarters of over 24,000 mothers who were surveyed by the Pregnant Then Screwed charity say that it does not make financial sense for them to work. This is shameful. I wholeheartedly agree with the movement that we need universally accessible affordable childcare from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school. And alongside this, we also need more understanding from employers.

It is absolutely vital, as a working parent, to find an employer who understands the challenges of working and having children, both financial and emotional, and that’s what I am lucky to have with my role, as a partner at Scotland’s best small PR agency, SPEY.

All four of our all-female management team are working Mums and between us I’m proud to say we very much manage the juggle. Flexible working hours are a given, picking up each other’s workloads when we have ill children or unforeseen school pick ups, even just showing an understanding and putting the coffee machine on when one of us looks a bit tired. These things count. We are still growing our agency and year on year increasing revenue. We are still retaining clients and creating award-winning campaigns. We are making it work.

Financially, even though SPEY is still a small independent business it has moved away from the statutory maternity leave model and now tops up salaries to 100% in the first six weeks, followed by increasing to 50% salary for the following 20 weeks. Paternity leave has also been increased to six weeks at 100% pay.

Pre-children, I always assumed I’d have to forgo my agency career when I started a family. Working at SPEY has proven this hasn’t been the case. Yes life is busy, chaotic and at times quite overwhelming. And sometimes I am working when the children are asleep or messaging my colleagues outside the standard ‘working hours’. But I am proud to be in the fortunate position that I can afford childcare, it’s not 75% of my take home pay and when I need to rearrange work commitments because my children will always come first, I have a fully supportive team behind me.

Marion Cordiner, Partner